Potter National Coach Of Year

When the University of Alabama Golf van pulled into the Crimson Tide's Jerry Pate Golf Center Saturday afternoon, it didn't have all the Bama players who had traveled to Franklin, Tennessee, for the NCAA Championship Tournament. But it had two very notable things it didn't have on the trip up earlier this week.

Alabama had a new trophy, the NCAA National Championship hardware. And Bama Coach Mic Potter had a new title: National Coach of the Year.

Potter, a member of the National Golf Coaches of America Hall of Fame, was also East Regional Coach of the Year in awards presented by the NGCA late Friday following the NCAA tournament.

Potter just completed his seventh year at Alabama and his 29th in collegiate golf with his first National Championship.

Potter has taken 22 teams to the NCAA Championships while recording nine top-10 finishes. He has coached 29 NGCA All-Americans and 54 All-Conference selections.

He added to that All-America players produced list this year. Following the tournament, it was announced that NCAA runner-up Brooke Pancake, a senior, and junior Jennifer Kirby were selected to the NGCA Division-I First-Team All-America team, and that sophomore Stephanie Meadow was a second-team choice.

Pancake, a native of Chattanooga, Tenn., saw her Alabama career culminate in the school's first National Championship in women's golf. Her four-foot par putt on the 18th hole secured the one-stroke victory for the Crimson Tide. She is a three-time All-America, twice earning first team honors. She finished with a 73.08 career scoring average and led the team in 2011-12 with a 72.52 stroke average.

Kirby, who was also named to the NGCA All-East Region team, earned first-team All-America honors, her second All-America recognition. Kirby finished tied for 14th at the 2012 NCAA Championship and won her first career tournament title at the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic. The native of Paris, Ontario, Canada, posted a 72.61 scoring average as a junior with five top-10 finishes.

Meadow, who hails from Jordanstown, Northern Ireland, becomes a two-time All-American with her second-team selection. She was a first-team pick in 2011 as a true freshman. Meadow finished the 2011-12 season with a 72.94 scoring average and two tournament victories to eclipse the Alabama career record for wins with five.

Alabama has now won 13 All-America honors by six different players in Potter's seven-year tenure with the Crimson Tide. That list includes five first-team selections, two second-team picks and six honorable mention choices.

Both Pancake and Meadow will travel to Nairn, Scotland, for the 2012 Curtis Cup in June. Pancake will play for the United States team while Meadow will compete for the Great Britain and Ireland team.

Potter and Assistant Coach Susan Rosenstiel along with players Stephanie Meadows and Courtney McKim brought the trophy back to UA while NCAA Championship runner-up Brooke Pancake, Jennifer Kirby and Hannah Collier all went directly from Nashville, Tenn. to play in a U.S. Open qualifier.

Alabama won its first NCAA Championship Friday, holding off Southern California in a battle that went down to the last hole. The Tide finished with a 6-over-par final round of 294 on the par-72, 6,264-yard North Course at the Vanderbilt Legends Club.

The Tide earned its victory in its eighth NCAA Championship finals appearance, and seventh consecutive appearance under Potter. Alabama's previous best finish was a third place showing in 2010.

Women's golf is the third Alabama team to win a national championship in the last five months, joining the BCS national champion football team and the NCAA champion gymnastics team.

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